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Who doesn’t love a good holiday themed book?!
My kids love to read all the holiday picture books and now we are starting to make our way through early reader chapter books. These are all books with shorter chapters, large print, and illustrations, great for boys and girls. I wanted to gather a list of some great stories for your beginning readers, that are based around Halloween/Fall, but aren’t too “scary” or “creepy.”
Many of these books are also part of a series, so if your children enjoy them, check out some of the others.
All the descriptions below the books are taken straight from Amazon. I wanted to add them as well as a photo of the inside of the book (if possible) so you don’t have to click on every link and are able to see if the reading level is a good fit for your children.
We have not read ALL of these books. Some we have read or have been recommended by friends and other reliable sources. This is also a book list for myself, to refer back to for the next few years, as my children grow in their reading. I will continue to update this post with additional favorites or remove ones we read and don’t enjoy.
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support when you purchase through these links!)
Hubble Bubble: The Super Spooky Fright Night by Tracey Corderoy
“Pandora’s granny—a witch!— causes magical mayhem wherever she goes, from a birthday party where the teddy bears come to life to a bus with a flat tire that turns into a circus train and a truly spellbinding Halloween party. In this first book in a new series, readers will find out that life with Granny is always full of surprises!”
Dragon’s Halloween by Dav Pilkey
“Dragon loves spooky Halloweens! But when he buys six small pumpkins that his friends tell him will never be scary, Dragon must come up with creative ways to make this Halloween just perfect. Dragon’s antics are endearing and silly, and Dav Pilkey’s sweet illustrations will have readers laughing aloud and reaching for this story every Halloween.”
Mercy Watson Princess In Disguise by Kate Dicamillo
“When the Watsons decide to zip their porcine wonder into a formfitting princess dress for Halloween — complete with tiara — they are certain that Mercy will be beautiful beyond compare. Mercy is equally certain she likes the sound of trick-or-treating and can picture piles of buttered toast already. As for the Lincoln Sisters next door, how could they know that their cat would lead them all on a Halloween “parade” of hysterical proportions? Kate DiCamillo’s beguiling pig is back in a tale full of treats, tricky turns, hijinks, and high humor.”
Princess Posey and the Monster Stew by Stephanie Greene
“Halloween is right around the corner and Princess Posey is super excited to have a party with her first grade classmates and go trick-or-treating. But sometimes Halloween tricks are scary. When Posey’s teacher announces that they’re going to have monster stew at their party, she’s more than a little nervous. But in true Princess Posey fashion, she dons her sparkly tutu and realizes that being a little scared with friends can be much fun!”
The Haunted Library by Dori Butler
“When ghost boy Kaz’s haunt is torn down and he is separated from his ghost family, he meets a real girl named Claire, who lives above the town library with her parents and her grandmother. Claire has a special ability to see ghosts when other humans cannot and she and Kaz quickly form a friendship. The two join forces to solve the mystery of the ghost that’s haunting the library. Could it be one of Kaz’s lost family members?”
Amelia Bedelia Scared Silly by Herman Parish
“It’s Amelia Bedelia’s new friend Candy’s first Halloween since coming to Oak Tree Elementary. But when Amelia Bedelia tells her new friend how spooktacular it will be—decorations on almost every house and store, the costume parade, the pumpkin carving contest—Candy seems unimpressed.
Then Amelia Bedelia tells her about the Haunted Hayride at Seven Gables Farms, and Candy is convinced. But what happens when the Haunted Hayride is cancelled? Will Amelia Bedelia come up with a plan to save Halloween for her friends old and new?”
Nate that Great and the Halloween Hunt by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
“It is Halloween night, and all the kids are dressed up to go trick-or-treating. But Nate’s friend Rosamond needs his help. Her cat Little Hex is missing. Is he hiding, or is he lost? Nate and his trusty dog, Sludge, are on the case!”
Billy and the Mini Monsters: Monsters at Halloween by Zanna Davidson
“It’s Halloween and Billy can’t wait for the village Halloween Party. There’s just one problem… his Mini Monsters are at the party too! Sparkle-Bogey’s in the apple bobbing, Trumpet’s in a pumpkin and Gloop’s playing ‘Guess the Body Part’. Can Billy find his monsters before anyone else does? Or will it be up to Peep to save the day?”
Ghoulish: Making New Friends Can Be Scary by Barbara Cantini
“Ghoulia lives in Crumbling Manor with her Auntie Departed and spends most of her time playing with Tragedy, her beloved albino greyhound. But things aren’t as easy as they seem for this little zombie girl—all she wants is a real friend. She tries to venture past the manor’s walls, but she can’t hide her pale green skin or the deep purple circles under her eyes. The other children will be afraid of her, and no one will want to be her friend. But when Halloween rolls around, Ghoulia hatches a brilliant plan. All the other, ordinary children will be dressed up like monsters, so Ghoulia can go out into the town and be entirely herself. In the end, all the kids realize that Ghoulia is (almost) just like them and learn that friendship can come in many forms.”
Owl Diaries: Baxter Is Missing by Rebecca Elliot
“Eva and her classmates each have to write a story to share with the author. Eva’s excited! But then something terrible happens: Her pet bat, Baxter, goes missing! Eva can’t think of anything to write about — except how much she misses Baxter! With help from her friends, Eva looks everywhere for Baxter. She even hangs up MISSING posters! Where could Baxter be? And will Eva finish her story in time for the author’s visit?”
Petal & Poppy and the Spooky Halloween by Lisa Clough
“Halloween is here and Petal and Poppy are going to a party! But Petal’s scared. Halloween is too spooky. But Poppy assures Petal it’s all just pretend. There’s nothing to be afraid of. But then a haunted house scares Poppy. Maybe Halloween is a little spooky after all!”
Mouse and Mole A Perfect Halloween by Wong Herbert Yee
“Mouse loves Halloween. And with only a few days to go before the big day, Mouse has lots of preparations to make. There are decorations to hang up and pumpkins to carve — especially for the big pumpkin-carving contest! Mole does not like Halloween nearly as much. It is scary. It is creepy. And who left that broom on the front step? Thankfully a pumpkin-carving contest is not too scary.
But the pumpkin-carving contest is just the beginning of Mouse and Mole’s Halloween adventures. What’s Mouse to do when her best friend has turned into a big Scaredy-Mole?”
Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison
“Kitty is special. Her mother is a superhero with catlike powers that Kitty and her little brother Max will someday inherit. But being a superhero involves going on daring adventures at night, and Kitty doesn’t know if she’ll ever be brave enough for that!
One night though, Kitty finds a sleek black cat with white paws waiting at her window. When he introduces himself, Kitty is shocked to realize she can understand him—her powers have arrived! The cat, Figaro, has a problem. There’s a terrible meowing sound coming from the clock tower, and the other cats don’t know what to do. The night outside looks cold and uninviting, and Kitty is afraid of the dark. But she musters up her courage and sets out to find the source of the mysterious sound. Along the way, she makes new friends, uncovers her confidence, and learns what it means to be brave.”
Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon by Cynthia Rylant
“Henry and his 180-pound dog Mudge are best friends forever. And when Halloween rolls around, they share jack-o’-lanterns and ghost stories with Aunt Sally.”
Boo, Katie Woo by Fran Manushkin
“Katie Woo is dressing up like a monster for Halloween. She plans on scaring everyone in the neighborhood. But she is disappointed when everyone knows it is her. Katie can’t seem to trick anyone, and that is the only treat she is interested in.”
Happy Haunting Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish
“Trick or treat! Amelia Bedelia wants to help prepare for the big Halloween party, but how can she follow directions when nothing is as it seems?”
Magic Treehouse: Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Pope Osborne
“Jack and Annie are summoned once again to the fantasy realm of Camelot. There, Merlin the Magician tells them that the Stone of Destiny has been stolen. The answer to its disappearance lies within a haunted castle. With a young magician named Teddy, Jack and Annie take on the challenge in an adventure that takes them to new heights and places they couldn’t even imagine!”
Nancy Drew Clue Book: Boo Crew by Carolyn Keene
“The recently renovated Heights Theatre has opened its doors for the auditions. The old theatre had been abandoned for fifty years but is now restored to its original beauty. But on the day of the auditions, everything seems to go wrong; the girls’ cauldron over bubbles, a werewolf mask makes its owner sneeze, spider webs fall on the dancers. That’s when the clue crew learns the Heights Theatre is rumored to be haunted—people say ghosts are the reason it stayed empty for so long. But Nancy knows better than to believe in ghosts. She’s sure that the culprit is of the human variety.
Then Bess sees monsters dancing around a piano playing on its own—the keys moving but no is playing it. Could the rumors be true? Is the Heights Theatre really haunted? It’s up to the clue crew—and you—to find out!”
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: The Pumpkin Patch Puzzle by Carolyn Keene
“It’s autumn in River Heights, and that means it’s time for the annual Fall Festival! Nancy, Bess, and George are excited for a whole week of games, rides, delicious treats, and the famous pumpkin-decorating contest. They are all participating for the first time this year!
But the day the girls are set to compete, all the designs for the contest are stolen and the decorating supplies are destroyed. If the culprit doesn’t come forward, the contest will be canceled—and a River Heights tradition will be ruined. It’s up to Nancy and the Clue Crew to solve this pumpkin patch mystery!”
Eerie Elementary: The Science Fair is Freaky by Jack Chabert
“Eerie Elementary is having a science fair. Sam, Antonio, and Lucy are hard at work on their projects when they find a strange, old book. Suddenly, the school comes alive! The ground shakes, science projects explode, and the school gym turns into a giant volcano! How will Sam and his friends fight hot lava? And what is hidden in that strange, old book?”
I hope you found some great books for your kids to read during this season! We grabbed a few from the library last week and my kids are already busy reading away!
Let me know in the comments if you have any favorites from this list or any others I should add!
Have a great weekend!